Phynaa, the winner of Big Brother Nigeria Season 7, has found herself embroiled in controversy after being accused of stealing a design created by renowned Ghanaian fashion designer Duaba Serwaa for her birthday photoshoot.
Duaba Serwaa, known for her signature origami designs, had previously crafted a similar outfit for Ms Eva Omaghomi, the Director of Community Engagement to HRM King Charles and the Queen consort. This unique ensemble gained recognition when it was featured in Vogue, praised for its edgy design.
The origami textured triangular pleated skirt and jacket, which Phynaa allegedly replicated without proper permission or giving credit, had also been worn by Lupita Nyongo and Jackie Appiah, further establishing its international popularity.
Phynaa reportedly commissioned Nigerian designer ANJY LUMINEE COUTURE LTD popular known as Luminee to create a similar piece with a few tweaks for her birthday photoshoot.
Luminee, the designer, also took to social media to create the impression that she owned the design while expressing admiration for its simplicity and eternal style.
“I don’t design clothes. I design dreams style is Eternal,” she wrote This is magnificent…Simplicity always The B.E.S.T!!!The Crown is Permanent, It’s LUMINÈE’S STYLING, It’s LUMINÈE’S WORK”
Shortly after, Phynaa was called out by social media users for her alleged theft and lack of intellectual honesty.
Many pointed out that the design belonged to Duaba Serwaa, a Ghanaian designer who has gained recognition both locally and internationally. Fans demanded that Phynaa credit the original designer and show respect for her creativity.
“Omo I love your designs but you should give the designer who created this her credit Na It’s sometimes not fair. You saw this signature design and you decided to recreate it, there’s nothing wrong with it but you should credit the owner. Omo Nigerians Na we too dey like stealing @duabaserwa this woman is from Ghana ???????? I discovered her when Jackie Appiah wore her outfit to AMVCA I know you also saw the look too SmH ????????♀️,” a fan posted
Fred Deegbe, the husband of the Ghanaian fashion designer, whose design was stolen also joined the discussion, confirming that the design in question was indeed created by Duaba Serwaa.
Other social media users echoed the sentiment, emphasizing that Phynaa’s recreation of the origami texture was reminiscent of Duaba Serwaa’s signature style.
“Exactly the comment I was looking for. This is a signature design that has hit the international market. Just give credit to @duabaserwa,” another wrote.
The controversy surrounding Phynaa’s alleged appropriation of Duaba Serwaa’s design once again highlights the importance of giving credit where it is due in the fashion industry.
Fashion experts have over the years, pushed stakeholders to acknowledge and respect the original creators because it not only safeguards their intellectual property but also fosters a culture of creativity, inspiration, and collaboration.
Phynaa is yet to respond to the accusations and it is unclear whether she will take the necessary steps to rectify the situation by crediting Duaba Serwaa for her influential and distinctive design.